I Am My Own Pearl


Have you heard this quote before?  

The quote made a mark in my life, especially when I decided to venture outside of the Philippines and pursue a life different from what I imagine for me.

It was the very words said to me by my very dear friend – Lolo Etoy.  He’s been dead for seven years, in November 2008, but I am very sure he lives a long, fun-filled, fulfilled life. Leaving us at 97 years old.

The late Hector del Rosario and I met during my UHF and VHF hobbyist days in the early 90’s.

It was my brother who introduced the radio to me, it being part of his equipment as a radio technician back in the days. But it was my sheer naughtiness that brought me to their frequencies, and I was schooled on the proper use of the very high-frequency radio. Eventually, I became part of their group and joined in social and emergency activities. That was the pre-cell phone and social media days!

Lolo Etoy shared this quote when I was leaving for Cambodia in 2000. He told me that working overseas would not be it, and it was not. He said only experience will teach me to find out who am I and discover my potentials.  And I should always be the better version of me.

I realized over the years, that I was given advice that was full of wisdom before I even knew it.  He equals my dad who was away when I left to work overseas like him.

I had high respect for Lolo Etoy, similar to my dad and my grandfather.  I valued his advice especially about savings and living a frugal life.

He died a wealthy man, literally rich! His family is very well provided for, and he left behind a legacy.

They were the first to give quality funeral services and over the years, they diversified to include schools and hospitals.

Every time we met when I return home for breaks, I get picked up by his chauffeur – Mang Romy, and we always dine in a five-star restaurant.  For a young woman, earning just enough, it was very fancy. But he doesn’t look the part, but every place we go and every people we meet knew who he was and was appropriated the respect his stature and his person deserved.

He showed me how to enjoy life and how to accept myself. He showed me that with perseverance you can achieve what you put your heart and mind into. He showed me the everybody can be good if given the chance.





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